For thousands of restaurants in New York, and all along the East coast of the United States, Hurricane Sandy has had a tremendous effect. Restaurants face structural damages as well as forgone profit from days of closure. However some restaurants managed to brave the weather and remain open despite all odds, and several lists were compiled to direct hungry customers where to eat. For those restaurants that remained closed many were hindered by employee transportation issues, or were directly in zones that were ordered to evacuate.
By Tuesday afternoon many restaurants throughout New York had reopened, relieving people suffering from power loss or simply looking forward to a good meal. While many restaurants owners are still assessing the damage to their properties, the prevailing mood is positive among those in the restaurant industry, providing as much empathy to hungry customers as possible, and supporting the businesses directly in the storms path.
“NYC restaurants will be fine, we got through 9-11 & New Orleans has proven just how resilient the cooking community can be #hardasnails”, tweeted restaurateur David Chang. In Brooklyn, New York restaurants showed just how tough they are by remaining open late into Monday night, some even maintaining delivery to a lucky few customers.
Around Clinton Hill in Brooklyn Dominoes continued to deliver pizzas until about 7:30 p.m. Monday night. Employee Angel Perez explained “It’s the rule. Domino’s always stay open, no matter what.” The pizza is delivered from a van instead of a bike, and company policy requires the restaurant chain to keep delivering as long as possible.
Other restaurants kept up a healthy takeout business throughout Monday night, with Anima Italian Bistro selling plenty of food throughout the day. The owner refused to let his employees risk themselves delivering food however, and the restaurant stayed open until 8 p.m.
Meanwhile food trucks were mostly grounded throughout Monday, particularly those in Brooklyn. Even those that that didn’t risk flooding would find few customers and face significant risks powering up their trucks. Redhook food truck Snap Truck tweeted “Rising waters in #RedHook where we live. The end of Van Brunt & Conover are wet, but most of the ‘hood is ok for now.” The popular World Financial Center food truck lot was also closed on Monday, with the majority of New York’s food trucks closed for the day.
While many restaurants opened their doors throughout the storm sensing a business opportunity, others saw their businesses as way to help their local communities. Putnam’s Pub in on Myrtle Avenue in Clinton Hill served food Monday until 5 p.m. The bar was packed with local residents, but the owner chose to close early out of concern for his employees.
“A lot of the guys in the kitchen live out in far Queens, so I’m driving them home,” said owner Gerry Rooney. “The people who work at the bar mostly live within a two-block radius, so when the storm gets bad, we can just lock the door and run home. But I wouldn’t want to drive on the BQE once the hurricane hits.”
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